In the Land of Pain

Author: Alphonse Daudet
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101970871
Format: PDF, ePub
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As Julian Barnes writes in the introduction to his superb translation of Alphonse Daudet’s La Doulou, the mostly forgotten writer nowadays “ate at the top literary table” during his lifetime (1840–1897). Henry James described him as “the happiest novelist” and “the most charming story-teller” of his day. Yet if Daudet dined in the highest company, he was also “a member of a less enviable nineteenth-century French club: that of literary syphilitics.” In the Land of Pain—notes toward a book never written—is his timelessly resonant response to the disease. In quick, sharp, unflinching strokes of his pen, Daudet wrote about his symptoms (“This is me: the one-man-band of pain”) and his treatments (“Mor-phine nights . . . thick black waves, sleepless on the surface of life, the void beneath”); about his fears and reflections (“Pain, you must be everything for me. Let me find in you all those foreign lands you will not let me visit. Be my philosophy, be my science”); his impressions of the patients, himself included, and their strange life at curative baths and spas (“Russians, both men and women, go into the baths naked . . . Alarm among the Southerners”); and about the “clever way in which death cuts us down, but makes it look like just a thinning-out.” Given Barnes’s crystalline translation, these notes comprise a record—at once shattering and lighthearted, haunting and beguiling—of both the banal and the transformative experience of physical suffering, and a testament to the complex resiliency of the human spirit.

Letters From My Windmill

Author: Alphonse Daudet
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1625584415
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The stories are all told by the author in the first person, typically addressing a Parisian reader. The author, having relocated his home from Paris, recounts short bucolic tales about his new life in Provence as well as his trips to Corsica and French Algeria. Considered to be light-hearted, and often a bit tongue-in-cheek, the stories vary from day-to-day events in southern France to Provençal folk-tales, and often feature professions and faunal references characteristic of Provence.

Demons

Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Publisher: Courier Dover Publications
ISBN: 0486817385
Format: PDF
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A self-styled revolutionary and his followers plot to overthrow the Tsar and seize control of the government in Dostoyevsky's cautionary tale about the destructive forces of demagoguery and unbridled rhetoric.

The Double and the Gambler

Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307279715
Format: PDF, Docs
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The award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have given us the definitive version of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s strikingly original short novels, The Double and The Gambler.The Double is a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare–foreshadowing Kafka and Sartre–in which a minor official named Goliadkin becomes aware of a mysterious doppelganger, a man who has his name and his face and who gradually and relentlessly begins to displace him with his friends and colleagues. The Gambler is a stunning psychological portrait of a young man's exhilarating and destructive addiction to gambling, a compulsion that Dostoevsky–who once gambled away his young wife's wedding ring–knew intimately from his own experience. In chronicling the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character. From the Trade Paperback edition.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Author: Gabor Mate, M.D.
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
ISBN: 1583944206
Format: PDF
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Based on Gabor Maté’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction. Simplifying a wide array of brain and addiction research findings from around the globe, the book avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting a thorough and compassionate self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts argues persuasively against contemporary health, social, and criminal justice policies toward addiction and those impacted by it. The mix of personal stories—including the author’s candid discussion of his own "high-status" addictive tendencies—and science with positive solutions makes the book equally useful for lay readers and professionals. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Stoner

Author: John Williams
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590173937
Format: PDF, ePub
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William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude. John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.

The Idiot Vintage Classics

Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780553901894
Format: PDF, ePub
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Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s masterful translation of The Idiot is destined to stand with their versions of Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and Demons as the definitive Dostoevsky in English. After his great portrayal of a guilty man in Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky set out in The Idiot to portray a man of pure innocence. The twenty-six-year-old Prince Myshkin, following a stay of several years in a Swiss sanatorium, returns to Russia to collect an inheritance and “be among people.” Even before he reaches home he meets the dark Rogozhin, a rich merchant’s son whose obsession with the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna eventually draws all three of them into a tragic denouement. In Petersburg the prince finds himself a stranger in a society obsessed with money, power, and manipulation. Scandal escalates to murder as Dostoevsky traces the surprising effect of this “positively beautiful man” on the people around him, leading to a final scene that is one of the most powerful in all of world literature.

The Complete C S Lewis Signature Classics

Author: C. S. Lewis
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 0061208493
Format: PDF, ePub
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Seven Spiritual Masterworks by C. S. Lewis This classic collection includes C. S. Lewis's most important spiritual works: Mere Christianity The Screwtape Letters The Great Divorce The Problem of Pain Miracles A Grief Observed The Abolition of Man

Faulks on Fiction Includes 3 Vintage Classics Great British Heroes and the Secret Life of the Novel

Author: Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446416267
Format: PDF
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The publication of Robinson Crusoe in London in 1719 marked the arrival of a revolutionary art form: the novel. British writers were prominent in shaping the new type of storytelling - one which reflected the experiences of ordinary people, with characters in whom readers could find not only an escape, but a deeper understanding of their own lives. But the novel was more than just a reflection of British life. As Sebastian Faulks explains in this engaging literary and social history, it also helped invent the British. By focusing not on writers but on the people they gave us, Faulks not only celebrates the recently neglected act of novelistic creation baplaudsut shows how the most enduring fictional characters over the centuries have helped map the British psyche. In this ebook, Sebastian celebrates the greatest heroes in fiction - from Tom Jones to Sherlock Holmes. Also included are three classic novels: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: The legendary story of a shipwreck on a desert island. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray: The story of a young woman's spectacular rise and fall as she gambles, manipulates and seduces her way through high society and the Napoleonic wars. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes' most famous case as he uncovers the truth behind the terrifying legend of a supernatural hound which preys upon the cursed Baskerville family.

Faulks on Fiction Includes 4 FREE Vintage Classics Great British Characters and the Secret Life of the Novel

Author: Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446416259
Format: PDF, Docs
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The publication of Robinson Crusoe in London in 1719 marked the arrival of a revolutionary art form: the novel. British writers were prominent in shaping the new type of storytelling - one which reflected the experiences of ordinary people, with characters in whom readers could find not only an escape, but a deeper understanding of their own lives. But the novel was more than just a reflection of British life. As Sebastian Faulks explains in this engaging literary and social history, it also helped invent the British. By focusing not on writers but on the people they gave us, Faulks not only celebrates the recently neglected act of novelistic creation but shows how the most enduring fictional characters over the centuries have helped map the British psyche - through heroes from Tom Jones to Sherlock Holmes, lovers from Mr Darcy to Lady Chatterley, villains from Fagin to Barbara Covett and snobs from Emma Woodhouse to James Bond. Also included in this fantastic ebook package are four free classic novels: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: The legendary story of a marine adventurer shipwrecked on a desert island. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Accomplished Elizabeth Bennett must navigate a web of familial obligations and social expectations in this witty drama of friendship, rivalry, enmity and love. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Pip's life as an ordinary country boy is destined to be unexceptional until a chain of mysterious events lead him away from his humble origins and up the social ladder. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: Marian and her sister Laura live a quiet life under their uncle's guardianship until Laura marries Sir Percival Glyde, a man of many secrets. Can she be protected from a mysterious and potentially fatal plot?